The senior pastors, Rob and Sarah Gardiner started the Church in 1996 and they became Christians when they were students, at Reading and London universities respectively. They met through a local church in Reading having both started new jobs in the locality. Fairly early on in their marriage, they sensed that God was drawing them into membership in the Vineyard Movement, which was then (back in the 1980’s), in the first stages of its development in the UK. They moved to join one of the UK’s then four existing Vineyard churches in Twickenham, and it was during their time at Riverside Vineyard that they felt God clearly identifying a call to church plant. This call from God took them, and their young family, back to Reading as they made the choice to pursue the revealed will of God to them, and start a new church.
In 2011 we changed our name to ‘Network Vineyard Church’ from ‘Reading Vineyard’ as we pioneered the multi-site model of church planting. The multi-site idea of starting new churches in new areas means creating new ‘sites’ for other people to meet in and to reach out to a greater number of communities. The ‘central’ church, in this case Reading, provides the necessary support, both human and administrative, to enable the ‘site’ church to start more quickly. It continues to be an exciting journey and our vision is to release many across the Thames Valley.